Friday, July 26, 2013

Virginia Part 3

We have one final day to recap in Virginia.  On Tuesday my family all had to work so we decided we would make our way home on this day.  We wanted to do a bit of sight seeing before our vacation was over so we headed into Richmond.
While the morning was cool we decided to start our day with a walk along the canal.  It is about a mile down to the end and the walk follows the historic canal through part of downtown Richmond.  It was beautiful and scenic and by the time we made it back to the car we had all worked up a good sweat.

We drove to the other side of Richmond into Carytown, a cutesy district with lots of restaurants and shopping.
We parked strategically in front of this adorable kids consignment store.  I picked up a few treasures for Eleanor and for baby showers coming up this weekend.  Then we made our way down to the donut shop where a $5 minimum credit card order forced us into purchasing four of these devilish treats.
I had mine with a side of iced coffee and when we were cooled off enough we decided to walk to Maymont, an old historic family home that is open to the public for tours.  Everything at Maymont is free with a suggested donation.
The home is beautiful and immaculately preserved.  The family donated the home and grounds to the city and it has since been open for tours with almost all the furnishings original to the family and home.  It is a rare find and we had so much fun.  I am a sucker for old homes and nostalgic pasts.  I love to hear the stories of families and people from distant time periods.  I loved the horse-drawn carriages in the garage, the beautiful dresses and gilded details in the home.  I wish I could have lived there in the 1800s!
The owner, Sally Mae, designed pristine gardens, influenced by her many travels.  The gardens included this immaculate Italian landscape, as well as a Japanese garden pictured further below.
Touring these gardens was our last stop for the day, after a tour of the house, the children's farm, the nature center and a ton of walking.  We were exhausted but thankful we didn't miss this!
The couple who owned the home met after the Civil War and never had any children of their own, which is why the city benefited so richly from their deaths.  They left everything and I am so happy it has been kept nicely for us to enjoy.
In the heat of the afternoon, we were dog tired, but we kept going and going.  Everywhere we turned was a new, more amazing view point.  It is hard to believe that at one time this existed for the sole pleasure of one family.  How amazing to have this as your back yard!
My photos do not do justice to the landscape.  You must go see it for yourself!
I am just still so amazed by these beautiful gardens.
And by these two.  I couldn't stop taking photos of the two of them.  They were so sweet!

Eleanor was a trooper all day, napping in her stroller on walks and handling the heat.  After our day on the boat we tried to keep her out of the sun as much as possible, which meant she was strapped into the stroller under the canopy all day.  Down in the gardens we carried her around so we didn't have to maneuver the stroller.  I don't think she could have been any happier to be in our arms!
We had a wonderful day.  There is so much more to see in Richmond, but Maymont was so wonderful we didn't want to leave.  Finally around 3pm we were exhausted and ready to hit the road.  Also very, very hungry.  Donuts are delicious, but they just don't keep you full!  One last family photo and we jumped in the car.
Good-bye Maymont!

On the road home, we stopped for provisions at a grocery store.  Our favorite go-to meal is whole wheat pita with hummus and spinach.  It is a perfect little pocket, easy for eating while driving.

We decided to stop in Raleigh for some shopping at H&M before making our way home.  I love this store and we do not have one closer.  Finally at midnight we pulled into the driveway and our travel adventures were over.

Such a fun little trip.  It seemed much longer than 4 days! 

No comments:

Post a Comment